Oh… my… God…
I’m really flirting with danger with this review, you know. It is said that every single movie ever made, no matter how awful, has it’s fans. There are a LOT of “Newsies” fans. And there is nothing on God’s green Earth scarier than an infuriated “Newsies” fan.
Let me assure any “Newsies” fans within earshot (eyeshot?) of this reviews that I do not hate this movie. Please don’t kill me. I can’t help it if your favorite movie is way too easy to make fun of. You can make fun of us “N.I.M.H.”-rods someday.
Okay, disclaimer out of the way, just what is “Newsies”? It is a live-action Disney musical. It was the first live-action Disney musical in a VERY long time. So long that the fans of old live-action Disney musicals were too old to care about this one, and any kids watching the thing were too young and unfamiliar with live-action Disney musicals to have any idea W.T.F. they were looking at. And aside from it’s die-hard fan following, the movie is most famous for bombing badly.
The plot is remarkably uninteresting. Something about a bunch of paperboys who go on strike because they’re being cheated out of, like, a tenth of a cent. Or something. Anyway, it’s important enough an issue to the newsboys that they will up and start singing about how p*ssed they are about it. For two hours. But it feels like you’re watching the thing for three straight days. Ann-Margret shows up for some reason, sings a few songs, and then she leaves. And there’s something about New Mexico in the movie too. It’s all very confusing.
“Newsies” is too unusual to dismiss outright, but I think it says something that I was way more excited about discovering a whole bunch of old “Punky Brewster” episodes on the same video tape after the movie was over.
The Best Parts:
3 minutes in – First song starts and I’m already having bad “Annie” flashbacks.
21 minutes in – Second song!
24 minutes in – Aww, a Meet Cute ^.~
27 minutes in – Cowboy sings about Santa Fe!
29 minutes in – Now I’m having a bad “Footloose” flashback (I guess it’s pretty obvious by now that musicals aren’t really my favorite genera…)
35 minutes in – The Newsies start their Union-type-thingy!
37 minutes in – Fourth song!
47 minutes in – Fifth song!
51 minutes in – NOOOOO!!!!! Not Jimmy!!!
56 minutes in – Sixth song!
1 hour in – Seventh song!
1 hour, 5 minutes in – Jimmy f**ks up!
1 hour, 12 minutes in – William Randolph Hearst actually shows up!?!
1 hour, 14 minutes in – OBLIGATORY ANN-MARGRET NUMBER!!!
1 hour, 17 minutes in – Unauthorized use of a swingset!!!
1 hour, 26 minutes in – Cowboy and Joseph Pulitzer finally confront each other.
1 hour, 30 minutes in – Ninth song!
1 hour, 32 minutes in – Oh, that sucks.
1 hour, 42 minutes in – Tenth song! Ah, ‘nuf with the singin’ already!
1 hour, 45 minutes in – Eleventh song and the Big-Ass Newsie Rebellion!!!
1 hour, 52 minutes in – Free Jimmy!
1 hour, 54 minutes in – Twelfth Song. K…i…l…l…… m…e………
1 hour, 55 minutes in – Cowboy has the chance to go out west and he STAYS???
1 hour, 57 minutes in – LE GRAND FINALE!!!
1 hour, 58 minutes in (end credits) – “The Opposing Forces”? Damn, that’s what I’d want to be credited as.
Classic Lines of Dialogue:
“This story is based on actual events, but the characterization of all persons, whether historical figures or otherwise, is fictional.” – Amusing Disclaimer
“All this for a sip of beer?” – Precocious Little Kid Newsie
“I want those rabble rousers to see what happens to those who would LEEEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAD!!!!!!” – Joe Pulitzer (ominous as all-get-out)
“Tomorrow they may wrap fishes in it / But I was a star for ONE WHOLE MINUTE!!!” – the Newsies sing about making the front page
Things I Learned from this Movie/Book/Whatever:
* – Joseph Pulitzer is best characterized as having been sort of a combination of Mr. Burns, Dr. Claw, and Emperor Palpatine.
* – Don’t ever fall asleep in the middle of a trolley strike.
* – Most Boy-Band choreography dates back to the turn of the century.
* – If you see some little punk kid carrying marbles and a slingshot, f**king RUN!!!!!
* – Protests aren’t worth a pair of fetid dingo’s kidneys if they lack good choreography.
* – The ecology of New York City during the turn of the century was remarkably similar to that of modern-day central Florida.
* – Joe Pulitzer lived inside a cheesy Matte painting.
Things That Can Save Any Movie:
Cool Creatures? Well, the bit with the horse is kinda funny.
Good Soundtrack? Uhh… I will say that these songs get in your head all day long.
Hot Guys? Some of them are pretty hot NOW, but in this movie they’re too young.
Pretty Scenery? Not unless you like seeing the same square mile of Disney MGM Studios over and over.
Nifty Animation/Special Effects? No way.
Drinking Game Potential? Hell yeah. Take a drink any time they sing. Also, take a drink any time the Newsies get into trouble. And take a drink any time they mention W.R. Hearst. CHUG when Hearst actually shows up in that one scene.
Head Movie Potential? No, it’s too boring.
“Newsies” gets a rating of Danny mostly because I’m too scared of the raging “Newsies” fans to give it a Jon.
A Michael Finnell Production made in 1992 by the Walt Disney Company, distributed by Buena Vista Pictures Distribution Inc. Written by Bob Tzudiker and Noni White and directed by Kenny Ortega. Songs by Alan Menkin and Jack Feldman, score by J.A.C. Redford. Choreography by Kenny Ortega and Peggy Holmes
Robert Duvall (???), Bill Pullman, Ann-Margret, and featuring Christian Bale, Max (Vinnie!) Casella, Gabriel (Littlefoot!) Damon, Token and Jimmy as the Newsies.